Journey to the River Sea
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Journey to the River Sea

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  6,187 ratings  ·  467 reviews
Sent in 1910 to live with distant relatives who own a rubber plantation along the Amazon River, English orphan Maia is excited. She believes she is in for brightly colored macaws, enormous butterflies, and "curtains of sweetly scented orchids trailing from the trees." Her British classmates warn her of man-eating alligators and wild, murderous Indians. Unfortunately, no on...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 5th 2008 by Pan MacMillan (first published May 4th 2001)
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"Those who think of the Amazon as a Green Hell bring only their own fears and prejudices to this amazing land. For whether a place is a hell or a heaven rests in yourself, and those who go with courage and an open mind may find themselves in Paradise"
~ Journey To the River Sea

This is the kind of book that demands an ‘atmosphere’.....a stack of sandwiches, a tall cold glass of lemonade ;topped at regular intervals…a wooden Easy-Chair (the kind your grandpa sat on and smiled genially from) placed...more
Andrea Hickman Walker
This is a delightful book. There's something enchanting about the way in which Eva Ibbotson writes. This tells the story of an orphan who is shipped off to some relatives who live in Brazil. They do not meet her expectations and soon she's off having an adventure with a boy who lives on the river. This is a story about dreams and reality. It's about making your dreams reality in spite of obstacles. It's about the futility of trying to separate yourself from the environment in which you live. It'...more
This may well be my favourite book. The first time I read it, I was ten years old and it was like nothing I'd ever read before. It's just magical.

Maia, the narrator, is the orphan of two famed explorer parents. Her guardian, the staid and stuffy Mr. Murray, discovers that she has relatives living in the Amazon and, thinking that Maia needs a family, he sends her off to live with Mr. and Mrs. Carter and their twin daughters. Maia goes with an open mind, expecting a loving home and great adventur...more
A very fun read. Eva Ibbotson has become one of my favorite writers recently. She's a British author who was born in Vienna and emigrated to England as a child in the early 30s. I raced through her adult historical fiction/romances (which are currently being re-released as YA) and enjoyed all of them, even though I was familiar her plot pattern by the third book.

This is the second children's/YA book of hers that I've read. (The first was The Star of Kazan, which I also liked a lot.) Following th...more
Pretty interesting... It reminds me of like CInderella with da evil sisters except they r in da amazon and there is a nice maid lady
Journey to the River Sea is just the kind of book I loved reading as a child. It is set in the late 19th century (I've always enjoyed those books more than the ones set in more recent times) and is an adventure story with strong female characters and intelligent kids.
Maia has lost both her parents in an accident. She lives in a boarding school in London until her guardian finds distant relatives who are willing to let her live with them. Maia is very excited to have a new family again with twin...more
Beth Bonini
I've been thinking a lot about how children's fiction can play a role in the moral development of a child. Ibbotson writes in a variety of genres, but even her most humorous and farcical stories always have a particular moral clarity about them. She reminds me of Dahl in that way. The baddies are lazy, selfish, greedy, grasping -- and usually rich. The goodies are kind, honest, brave, resourceful, modest and hardworking. They yearn for connectedness, not things.

Like many of Ibbotson's protagonis...more
At first, this looks like a fairly predictable orphaned-English-girl-gets-shipped-off-to-live-with-distant-relatives story. Predictably, the family Maia is to live with in Brazil is horrid, and only allowed her to come at all so that they could get the allowance that comes with her. Fortunately, Maia has a very sympathetic, if somewhat mysterious governess who accompanies her to Brazil and in her adventures. It isn't until Maia's been in Brazil for a while that the story begins to come out of it...more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
I read this at school and found it quite enjoyable. The characters and storyline managed to draw me in well and I could really sense what it was like in the situation. I was drawn into the story and the atmosphere of the book.
A vivid and beautifully written tale that follows Maia as she begins a new life on the banks of the Amazon after the loss of her parents two years previous. At first she is excited and eagerly awaiting her arrival, makes plans and imagining all wonderful things she will do with her new siblings and guardians. However when she and her governess, Miss Minton, arrive at the Carters riverside home, things are not quite how they imagined. Mr Carter is a bit of a recluse, Mrs Carter longs for her home...more
Apr 11, 2010 Karin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Karin by: library catalogue
I felt drawn into the story, rooting for Maia. She is a courageous heroine who tries to make the best of 2 very bad situations. The first, the loss of her parents brings her to a boarding school. This is when we are introduced to her. Then her guardian writes to let her know that she has distant relatives in South America who are willing to take her in. She decides, after a reflective evening spent in the library, that the Amazon might be a great new adventure. She befriends a young actor on the...more
Mar 29, 2012 Susann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susann by: Wendy
I enjoyed this through and through, and somewhere in the second half it sailed from a 3-star rating to a 4-star one. I think it’s because, by the mid-point, almost all the events that an adult reader would predict have happened, and from then on it’s all about seeing how everything plays out and, most important, seeing Maia in her element:
“There were girls at school who wanted to ride, and others who wanted to go on the stage, and there was a girl who had made a terrible fuss till she was allowe
Read it once, retain fond memories.

Read it twice, and feel the love be rekindled.

That's pretty much what I went through when I "rediscovered" this little gem from my elementary school years. For ages, I'd passed it by on the library shelves, always putting it on the reread list for when I had time - and a lack of new, shiny titles to discover. It wasn't until I discovered that our library had gotten rid of BOTH COPIES (I mean, who does that to classic children's literature!) that I took the init...more
When i saw this book here i got an explosion of memories. I remembered with dewey-eyed nostalgia about getting this book for christmas. Being male i looked at the book a bit taken-aback. The protagonist was a GIRL (gasp). I can't tell you how funny the book looked amongst all my other books on my bookshelf. It was as if it was a loner being stared at by my closely knit groups of Roald Dahl books, Harry potter books and other book series's. When i started to read the book, i was shocked to find t...more
Journey to the River Sea is a wonderful book – I enjoyed every page. Maia is an orphan, happy at the school where she is but longing for a family; she receives news that she is to join some distant relatives in Brazil - a family with two twin girls. She bounces with enthusiasm about this new country and the prospect of new friends; when she arrives, things are not as she expected. She is met with hostility and cruelty. Her plans to discover all the newness of her new home seem thwarted initially...more
This book is about a girl who usually goes to this orphanage but one day they find her parents who live close to the river sea. So one day she travels all the way to the River Sea. She thinks that they will be a very nice family but it doesn't really turn out that way. There are lots of problems that she faces while living with this family in the middle of the forest. There are two daughters that live there who are very neat and have all these classes and don't like aything that could get them d...more
James Minter
Although a childrens story, Eva's writing has appeal to the older reader. A story of conflict and struggle between doing what is expected and what your heart desires set in the Amazonian jungle in the early 20th century.
This is my favourite book by far. I remember the first time i saw it..i had won a competition when i was 11 and this was my prize. I remember looking at the cover and thinking OH and I isntantly thought it looked boring. But when i decided to have a go and read it, i was suprised at how much i was drawn into the story and i couldnt put it down. I really enjoyed it and was so happy i had won it afterall. Since then ive read and re-read it so many times. Just goes to show u should never judge a bo...more
I was given this book to read by a student who loves to read. She said, 'You will love it"- I thought it was a great book. The main character is a happy, cheerful, girl with a thirst for learning. Despite the loss of her parents, she goes forward and faces many changes in her life. Everyone she meets grows to care for her. The school where she was staying finally finds her some family who live in the Amazon, so off she goes with a governess. They travel there and find the family to be unloving(k...more
Journey to the River Sea was another amazing book by Eva Ibbotson!
In this book, a girl named Maia, who lives at her school, is awaiting a letter from the Amazon telling what will happen in her future. She learns that she will soon move in with her aunt and uncle, and her twin cousins, Beatrice and Gwendolyn, and she is overjoyed. She is nervous about living near the Amazon, but is excited about all she will see. On her journey by boat, she meets the woman who is to be her governess, Miss Minton...more
Jo Macklin
This is a good old fashioned piece of writing - what a wonderful book! Even though it is a YA book, you can tell that an older woman wrote it - the use of the word "one" kind of gives that away - but it honestly doesn't make me relate any less with it. I chose it because at the time of browsing the bookshop, I had just found out that there is a possibility that I could be moving to the jungle for a few years. The reviews say that Eva Ibbotson captures the magic of the jungle - I thought that I c...more
This is a wonderful children's book which I think will be seen as a classic in the future.

It is set at the end of Victorian times and we follow orphan Maia as she is sent off to live with her only relatives whom she has never met in the Amazon.

Eva Ibbotson does a masterful job of deftly moving the reader's opinion around - she subverts her own characters with a knife edge making the young reader unsure who to trust until further events unfold.

We are faced with a black-clad pointy nosed governess...more
Freddie Hyzler

“But she did not at first recognize the boy who stood outside the hut, quietly waiting (...) He looked like any European boy who had lived a long time in the sun. Except that he didn’t. He looked like no boy Maia had ever seen, standing so still, not waving or shouting instructions, just being there. (...) The boy stretched out his hand and Maia jumped out.
‘I’ve decided to trust you’ he said in English. She had known really before he spoke. Now she was sure.
Maia looked into his eyes. ‘You can d...more
Adam Kirtland
Beginning in 1910 Edwardian England, 'Journey to the River Sea' by Eva Ibbotson tells the story of Maia, a thirteen year old orphan who is being sent to start a new life with relatives thousands of miles away....up the Amazon river! She doesn't travel alone however, as she is joined by her strange and unfathomable governess (Miss Minton) who secretly wants to take the journey for reasons of her own.

The world they encounter along the way is just as exotic as they had predicted, complete with new...more
This is the book that made me fall in love with fiction. I must have been 8 or 9 at the time and my teacher would read each chapter once a week during "reading time." I was captivated by Ibbotson's writing and the plot and the writing is wonderfully written. The characters are funny and engaging and honest and as a kid who was about to move to a new country, I could totally relate to Maia. I bought the book at my local bookstore to read ahead and have since, been a fan of Eva Ibbotson. This book...more
A wonderful fun for all ages! This doesn't have Ibbotson's famous ghosts, witches or magic but i still think this is her best novel.

I felt it is one of those extremely satisfying adventure stories for the younger audience, filled with charm & you won't regret it.
Rahiel Woldu
Book Review 1
A wonderfully written story about an English orphan called Maia who has zeal and endless admiration for the nature and life of the Amazon rich with a variety of creatures, plants and indigenous people that reflect the true peaceful spirit of the forest, unlike her relatives, the Carters.

Throughout the whole book, I could hear the echoes of the rainforest at the back of my mind. It is as if you almost want to escape from reality and be where Maia is: in the presence of such bounty t...more
I absolutely loved this book, after I read it I wanted to read it all over again! The imagery of the jungle and water was so mesmerizing, I felt as if I was there!
This was one of my favourite books from my childhood. It's one of those books that when you read it, you don't imagine it set over a hundred years ago. I loved the protagonist in this story from what i remember she was fierce and adventurous, she opened herself up to new things and change which must not have been easy. I loved this book but i don't know if i would read it again as i was so young when i did read it and i feel like if i read it again it will seem different and i would prefer to ke...more
Varsha Seshan
What a beautiful book! I love the idealism, the adventure, the cultural differences, everything!
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UEL Primary PGCE ...: Bk Rvw 1 - Journey to the River Sea 1 1 Sep 08, 2014 01:10PM  
Who likes this book??? What do you think about it? 21 59 Dec 10, 2012 06:27PM  
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Eva Ibbotson (born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner, 1925, Vienna, Austria) was a British novelist specializing in romance and children's fantasy. Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1925. When Hitler came into power, Ibbotson's family moved to England. She attended Bedford College, graduating in 1945; Cambridge University from 1946-47; and the University of Durham, from which she graduat...more
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“They were steaming out of the station before Maia asked, 'Was it books in the trunk?'
'It was books, admitted Miss Minton.
And Maia said, 'Good.”
“I would let her...have adventures. I would let her...choose her path. It would be was hard...but I would do it. Oh, not completely, of course. Some things have to go on. Cleaning one's teeth, arithmetic. But Maia fell in love with the Amazon. It happens. THe place was for her - and the people. Of course there was some danger, but there is danger everywhere. Two years ago, in this school, there was an outbreak of typhus, and three girls died. CHildren are knocked down and killed by horses every week, here in these streets--" She broke off, gathering her thoughts. "When she was traveling and exploring...and finding her songs, Maia wasn't just happy, she was...herself. I think something broke in Maia when her parents died, and out there it healed. Perhaps I'm mad--and the professor too-- but I think children must lead big lives...if it is in them to do so.” 0 likes
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